4 days 5 stages- Tour de Feminin

Image- Steev Davidson

After 2 days of travel we arrived at the hotel, which was conveniently located at the stage start for 2 days and the stage finish of another! The rooms were basic but functional, I have stayed in worse. After the first night we tapped bin bags to the windows, as you couldn’t really class the material hung up as curtains…

Unfortunately the hotel was across the road from a Church, with rather loud church bells… these bells randomly went off through the night, they weren’t even on the hour. I recall been woken at 3:54am and multiple other times throughout my stay. I have no idea why the bells were needed through the night but they were definitely not appreciated.

Image- Steev Davidson

Stage 1 – 119.4km

A day which turned into a day to get over travel, it really wasn’t a good day on the bike for me. I though the entire race was to be a miserable experience. Moral was defiantly low after day one.

Stage 2 – 101.3km

A better day, much better than expected and my race was starting to look like it wouldn’t be a wasted trip.

Stage 3 – 14.6km TT

I do seem to enjoy a Time Trial at the minute. After driving the out and back circuit the evening before, it was looking tough definitely not flat, with a lovely tight corner around a cone. I wasn’t expecting a result and it didn’t seem quick at all. I was surprised to finish with the fastest time at that point, but with over 100 riders left to finish I wasn’t holding my breath. I was pleasantly surprised to finish 25th.

Image- Steev Davidson

Image- Steev Davidson

Stage 4 – 71.2km

This stage was after the TT in the afternoon it was like a Belgium kermes with a hill climb in it. Using part of the TT course from earlier in the day meant that we knew the climb, however the part I found the hardest was a short steep climb about 5km from the finish. I don’t enjoy a steep climb especially not a short one, I don’t have the initial ‘kick’ that some riders have at the bottom of a steep climb. Never the less I did enjoy this stage mainly because I had found some confidence from my result in the TT.

Stage 5 – 104.1km

The last stage had 3 finishing loops with a climb in it, then a decent down to the finish.

After making the selection over the first climb in the first hour of racing and missing both crashes, I was happy with my position coming up to the longest climb of the day. However we were neutralised and stopped.  After finding out that the ambulance was too far behind the race for us to continue, we had to wait. Sitting down in the shade at the side of the road watching lots of  dropped riders arrive to where we had been stopped. We set off again all together 50minutes later, with one of the finishing loops being taken off.

I made the selection over the longest climb, however was popped not far from the finishing loops on a unclassified climb. I spent a lap in the cars and then road with another rider to the finish of the race.

Finished safely in one piece and managed to improve on what looked like it was going to be a disaster of a week.

One thing I will definitely not miss is chicken and potatoes, I don’t know why anyone thought that we wanted chicken and potatoes every day…..

I was looking forward to a good night sleep in my own bed, nothing better than getting home to your own bed! I definitely slept very well in my Slientnight bed after racing of 4 days and a overnight travel in the car back to the UK.

I would like to say a huge thank you to Rene for organising the trip, Caroline and Steev for driving and mechanicing throughout ensuring we had no bike related stress. Both Nina’s Parents Anja and Jan-Willem for being our Soigneurs for the trip and lastly the girls on the team for making the trip enjoyable. (Bethany, Ellen, Hetty, Maddie, Nina, Savannah and Sophie).


Pin It on Pinterest